Meet the Faculty
20 December 2017
Eric Oelkers, Professor of Aqueous Geochemistry
My biggest motivation is to apply the fundamentals of Chemistry to try to understand the Earth and address societal problems. I am very excited about my two latest projects. CARBFIX2 is a European funded research project which involves scientists at Reykjavik Energy, the University of Iceland and industrial partners in Spain and Switzerland which aims to develop new ways to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and safely store this gas as stable minerals in basaltic rocks.
Over the past few years we have demonstrated the rapid transformation of carbon-dioxide injected into basalts react to form calcite at a depth of 500 meters adjacent to the Hellisheidi power plant near Reykjavik Iceland. We are now expanding this technology to enable the large-scale storage of CO2 in basalts located under on the seafloor.
Our second new European project ‘METAL-AID’ in collaboration with nine other European partners is working to develop nanoparticles that can help transform carcinogenic organic compounds present in groundwater into harmless compounds safe for drinking.